YA

Fallen for Angels?

I’m not sure what it is about angels, but it could be that many are brooding, dark, handsome, and completely…well, awesome. Regardless, I’m obsessed with reading novels dealing with angels, fallen or not. I thought I’d share some of my favorites, so here they are:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment below of any other angel reads I’m missing out on!

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Fallen in Love (Lauren Kate’s Fallen Series): A Review

Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate

Published by Random House Children’s Books

Out January 24, 2012

Synopsis

What makes your heart race a little faster? Just in time for Valentine’s Day, it’s FALLEN IN LOVE, four wholly original new stories collected in a new novel set in the Middle Ages by Lauren Kate. FALLEN IN LOVE gives fans the much-talked about but never-revealed stories of FALLEN characters as they intertwine with the epic love story of Luce and Daniel. The stories include: Love Where You Least Expect It: The Valentine of Shelby and Miles , Love Lessons: The Valentine of Roland; Burning Love: The Valentine of Arriane; and Endless Love: The Valentine of Daniel and Lucinda. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

When Fallen debuted in December 2009, I fell in love with it. It was different than a lot of other YA novels out there at the time , which made it pretty refreshing to read. When Lauren Kate came out with the third installment in the Fallen series I was just as excited to read it as I was the other two, but my excitement quickly diminished-it seemed I was no longer interested in Luce and Daniel’s story anymore. I tried and could not finish the third in the series. With Fallen in Love, I thought maybe I would have better luck.

All of the short stories in Kate’s new novel are very sweet, there is no denying that. Kate takes you to a different time period and shows you the many types of love with each story, building up to the final Valentine story of Daniel and Lucinda. There is not much to say about each story individually as they are exactly what one can imagine. So, were they terrible to read? Not at all. Was I completely giddy reading them and so excited Kate published another novel? Not really. Publishing another novel revolving around other characters in the series is a good idea, but this one is so-so. The only perk is the sneak peak into her fourth installment, Rapture, which I happen to quite like so far.

Why did I bother reading it? Because I want to like this series as a whole. It has elements to it that I adore and I want to recommend the series to those who share the same infatuations as I do (fallen angels-what’s not to love?) I look forward to reading the fourth and final book (out June 2012) just to see how it will all end.

Overall: Debatable.  Those who still love everything about the Fallen series will enjoy this compilation of short stories. They are sweet, they delve into the lives of other characters, and you get the sneak peak into Rapture. However, those that feel they may be in the same boat as myself will be left wanting more of the Lauren Kate that first started the Fallen series. So, here’s hoping the fourth book is a strong one…come on Lauren, you can do it!

Me and You: A Review

Me and You by Niccolò Ammaniti

Published by Grove/Atlantic Inc

Out February 7, 2012

 

Synopsis

Lorenzo Cuni is a fourteen-year-old loner. His wealthy parents think he is away on a school skiiing trip, but in fact he has stowed away in a forgotten cellar. For a week he plans to live in perfect isolation, keeping the adult world at bay. Then a visit from his estranged half-sister, Olivia, changes everything.

The story is set mainly in Rome in the year 2000, and though I’d love to read about the beauty of Rome, most of the scenery mentioned is that of the forgotten cellar that Lorenzo retreats to for one week. The cellar is dank and musty and yet to Lorenzo, nothing could be better. This is where the reader finds out much of Lorenzo’s life. He is an outcast in school and when he hears of the popular kids going skiing for a week he desperately wants to go as well (he tricks his mother into thinking he went skiing with said popular kids). Not only does Lorenzo really like to ski, he’s good at it and he wants to show everyone else that he is too. Readers young and old can relate to this part of the story easily. There is a point in adolecense and even adulthood where one is stuck trying to find oneself and Niccolò Ammaniti emulates that feeling very well through Lorenzo. Seeing things as Lorenzo sees them is quite gripping especially when Olivia, reluctantly, comes to stay in the cellar with him. The story is not only about adolecense and finding a place where one belongs, it is also about family, addiction, and broken promises.

Lorenzo and Olivia’s characters seem completely different at a first glance. Lorenzo is just a fourteen-year-old boy hanging out in a cellar for a peaceful week of video game playing, while Olivia is frantically searching for money in all of her old boxes to fulfill her addiction to drugs. Although both characters went to the cellar to find two completely different things, they both left the cellar with an infinite understanding of one another. Lorenzo’s character is so strong for a fourteen-year-old, dealing with the lack of friends, a sister whom he hardly knows and desperately needs to help, and yet, it is very believable because he is still vulnerable.

Lastly, the quality of writing that Ammaniti puts on display is superb. It is simplistic and real and there certainly is not anything I question while reading except, maybe, “Why can’t I write like that?”

Overall: Add this one to your queue of books to read. This is a well-written novel and definitely deserves a read. Like I said before, readers young and old will like this book not only because of the quality but also because of how relatable the story really is.

Vampire Academy Series: A Review

Two races of vampires walk our world. One, the Moroi, are alive and wield elemental magical. The other, the Strigoi, are undead and evil–feeding on the innocent to survive. Rose Hathaway–a half-vampire with poor impulse control–is training to be a bodyguard for a Moroi princess. Learning to decapitate and stake is hard enough, but Rose’s real danger may lie in an illicit romance with one of her instructors… (from Richelle Mead Official Website)

I’ll admit, I started reading this series with a very skeptical eye. A part of me really felt like the vampire stories were all the same, so how could the Vampire Academy be different? I think I realized after the first book in this series that what Richelle Mead creates is a much different vampiric world than what one might expect. There are mortal vampires with magic in need of protection and the immortal and malicious vampires that are set on ruining the world. Many of the dhampir, half human and half vampire, train to defend the royals against all evils. This series is full of action, a lot of which happens at St. Vladimir (haha) and a lot of romance (which I can’t resist) making the entire series very equally balanced.

While your reading, it’s quite easy to see how much time Mead spent on her characters. Rose and Dimitri compliment each other in ways I haven’t seen in a while. She’s rash and impulsive and he is almost her complete opposite, yet they find a common ground to build a relationship on throughout the novels. Rose’s whole demeanor with everyone is very abrasive, except with a close few. Rose fights for what she wants and goes with her gut instinct in almost every situation. This notion has become more and more prominent in YA lit and as much as I hate the redundancy, this is actually a good aspect to keep in the genre. Mead’s characters are some of the best: never static, believable dialogue (yay!) and they are identifiable.

Overall: Anyone who loves vampire stories will, no doubt, cling to this one too. The difference between Mead’s vampire world and others is that hers is actually interesting and well thought-out. Mead’s creation is full of deeper meaning and better characters. Plots thicken, crushes die, romance blooms, and stakes go through a lot of hearts in this series which makes for an entertaining and fast read.

*If you love this series, try out Bloodlines- a spin-off series set in the same world, but focusing on the other characters!

Shatter Me: A Review

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in 264 days.  She’s been locked in a cell because her touch is fatal and no one knows why.  In a world where the clouds are the wrong color, birds no longer fly through the sky and disease takes over life, Juliette doesn’t really matter.  Soon Juliette must decide to either be a weapon or a warrior…

The prose is quite interesting in Tahereh Mafi’s debut novel. It’s actually what I adore most about the book.  The protagonist, Juliette, is not the whiney teenage girl that can’t help herself. This girl can actually hold her own, which is very refreshing. Throughout the entire book, Juliette’s thoughts are laid out on the page but what Mafi does to spice up the novel and really make it unique is the use of a strikethrough through many of her thoughts. It makes for an interesting way of letting the reader into a character’s mind. Then there is the love story aspect: I simply cannot resist them! This certainly has a good one, but I’ll let you discover that one on your own.

The overrall premise of the book is quite good as well. It’s a superhero story with a female protagonist. I feel like it may be harder to find your own voice in the YA genre lately, as so many novels seem to be playing off of all the other ones in the genre. What Tahereh Mafi does is all natural, it’s her voice developing a unique idea and standing out from all the rest.

Overall: People who love action, dystopia, and a bit of romance will fall in love with this title. Personally, I think this is better than the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, so if you liked that then I am very confident that you will love this one. Check it out for yourself!

The Night Circus: A Review

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

As many of you may know by now, there is a lot of hype surrounding Erin Morgenstern’s debut novel, The Night Circus. All I can say is that the hype is much deserved! If you read this, I promise that Celia and Marco will become two of your favorite characters.  Their connection is undeniable and together their effect on their world is quite astounding. This novel is very descriptive and takes on a magical tone of it’s own. I’ve read some reviews on Goodreads stating how drawn out and descriptive it can be, but that is the beauty of it-Morgenstern creates a world to escape to where everything can exist.

I know I’m late to the game on this review but trust me, this one is a good one.

The Night Circus Eric Morgenstern out 09/13/2011

Slash and Burn: A Mini Review

I’ll admit to never reading any novels by Lee Child, Jeffrey Deaver, Michael Connelly or any of the other really popular male authors constantly making the New York Times Bestseller List.  So when I got the Advance Readers Copy of Slash and Burn by Matt Hilton, I decided to give it a chance, as Hilton is often compared to the authors previously mentioned.

Joe Hunter, ex-CIA tough guy/hero of the Hilton novels, meets a desperate woman named Kate while on a Florida retreat. She needs help finding her sister, Imogen, who is missing and may be in trouble.  Joe agrees to help Kate and slowly falls for this woman who appeared so desperate in the beginning but who is actually capable of herself. Together they fight a lot of men while trying to figure out why Imogen has disappeared and why these men are searching for her as well.

While reading this, I will admit that much of it was easily predictable, especially the love between Joe and Kate. Even the play on Joe’s last name, Hunter, was a bit silly. There was only one part of this entire book that I was actually surprised at but I won’t speak of it here, just in case someone else is planning to read this novel of course, but I will say that it was surprising and made the overall novel a bit better for me.  This novel is most definitely something I would call a “mindless read” nothing you need to pay close attention to but something that is somewhat enjoyable and easy to read.  I wouldn’t suggest running out to purchase it- only if violence and an easy read is something you are seeking.  But, if you stumble upon it, you may want to pick it up especially if you happen to like the afore mentioned authors.

Slash and Burn is on sale 10/25/2011